This week I spoke to mum of two, Katie, who writes the blog Coffee with Katie; “stories about motherhood and coffee conversations”. With two under two she is a busy mum, but still enjoys a little me time to write, with her cuppa in hand. Her family loves to get away and here’s one of their latest adventures…off to the Bendigo Botanic Gardens.
Almost as old as Bendigo itself, the Bendigo Botanic Gardens are one of the best public gardens in our region to visit as there is plenty to do, see and enjoy!
The Bendigo Botanic Gardens are a beautiful spot to take the kids for a free adventure. If you’re not local to Bendigo you could do a day trip from Melbourne or stay overnight and use the following day to visit Lake Weeroona, which provides another great free play space for the kids.
I was quite impressed by this gem in Bendigo. I’ve got an almost two year old and this place could entertain her for hours. We stayed about two hours and we still hadn’t explored everything. We could have stayed longer but we left to avoid dealing with an overtired and hungry toddler.
The Good Bits.
It’s free. The paths to get around are pram friendly. There are multiple attractions to entertain the kids including an outdoor play space and walk-through bird aviary.
The play space is really fun! It has lots of little, low features that make it perfect for toddlers, though I am sure it would be fun for older children too.
My daughter’s favourite features of the play space were:
- Musical buttons – There is a fence with buttons you can press which start nursery rhymes playing. My daughter was particularly impressed by this, she picked a favourite one and pressed it over and over and danced to her little heart’s content.
- The bells – hanging underneath some of the play equipment there is a line of bells at exactly the right height for a toddler to chime.
- The mini trampoline – this is built into the ground so there’s no way to fall off, which is great when visiting with an accident prone toddler (but it is surrounded by a concrete circle, which looked very hard to me). My daughter loves to jump (and jump and jump and jump) so this was a hit for her.
It has a hiding place made from a giant tree, which has branches (with a thick covering of leaves) that have dropped down to the sides all around, creating an inside hiding space. It has one big ‘front door’ and at least two tiny ‘doors’ that little kids could sneak through. My daughter was thrilled that she could pop in and out of these doors but that I was too big to follow her! Bigger kids could easily climb the tree inside.
There’s also a veggie patch and a water-play hand pump so kids can water the plants. In a separate part of the gardens there is a walk-through bird aviary, which is home to several species of Australian birds and was a hit with my daughter. She thought they were playing hide and seek with her as the birds kept moving out of site and she kept running around to find them. The path through the aviary is also pram friendly.
Areas for Improvement.
There’s lots of shade in the gardens, but not over the play equipment. We visited on a cool Autumn day but I imagine in peak summer it would be very hot.
Things you need to know
- The gardens close at sunset. The aviary is open 8am-4pm each weekday (closed weekends and public holidays).
- The gardens have toilets, drink taps, seats, tables, a BBQ, car parking, and a walking path / bike path.
- And an expansion of the gardens is currently underway
I rate it a 9 out of 10 and hope you get the opportunity to visit with your family.
Thanks for sharing your adventure Katie. To read more from Katie jump over to Coffee with Katie to read more about her mum life and family adventures.
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